Count Your Blessings

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Fifteen years ago, I was going through what you might call a rough patch. It was a Thursday. I remember that too because I had no desire to face the weekend. I pushed on through with my day’s activities because that is what we sometimes need to do. I delivered a keynote speech in the morning, and it went very well, but “my inner heart” was dealing with loss of love issues.

It was all I could do to make my way to a large park near to my hotel located in the middle of a city. I well remember it was a day in early spring. I know this because there were flowers in bloom most everywhere I looked. The sun was brightly shining, and I was sitting on a park bench feeling sorry for myself.


One of Those Days

I doubtfully wished for something unusual to happen, at the same time convinced that my life’s allotment of blessings had been used up and wasted away. I was sitting on a park bench in an unfamiliar city focused on everything that was wrong in my life. I closed my eyes for a few minutes. When I opened them, I saw a young mother and father with a little girl in between. The girl could not have been much more than five. They were walking hand-in-hand.

“Oh great,” I said to myself. “This is just what I need to see! More happy people!” Yes, I said it. The man who was telling other people to stay positive was pouting.

As they drew closer, I noticed the little girl had picked a bouquet of three or four flowers. They passed. I was determined to smile at the family, and they smiled back.

The trio walked on for about 50 feet when the little girl tugged at her mother’s skirt. They had a brief conversation I could not hear, but they released the girl’s hands, and she rushed back to me and gave me a flower.

“Oh, thank you so much,” I exclaimed. “This is the most beautiful flower I have ever seen.”

The parents smiled at me, and the mother called out, “She’s always doing silly things like that.” In no way was it silly to me.


Never Saw It Coming

At the moment, I had no profound response. Why? Because as they continued their walk, tears were freely flowing from my eyes and my throat had thickened. In that second, I understood that we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. Somehow and in some way, I felt that things would be all right.

Throughout my life, the best things have happened unexpectedly. My best stories all begin with “all of a sudden” and “out of nowhere.” Even my greatest adventures were never planned, and had they been, I can only assume they undoubtedly wouldn’t have turned out the same way. The best will come when you least expect it.

Are you going through something painful right now? Are you having one of those days? Do you sometimes feel that all of your allocated blessings have gone away? My advice is to look where you least expect to find them. Blessings need not be huge, earth-shaking, cataclysmic events. They can be as sweet and as simple as an unexpected flower from a young child.

The key to receiving all of the beautiful blessings that life has to offer is to be receptive in the first place. Blessings are subtle. It can be making a new friend, receiving an unexpected gift or hearing someone in his or her way saying, “I love you.” It can be a friend telling you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. No, your blessings are not used up. They are waiting for you to appreciate them.

Be thankful for all your blessings. Take time every day to be grateful, appreciative for everything that you have. You can always have more, but you could also have less. What if you woke up today with only the things you remembered to be thankful for yesterday? Count your blessings, all of them, every day!


For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland, please contact steve@stevegilliland.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.